Here Comes the Bride, Dressed in Green

CapitaMalls Asia promotes the green cause with wedding gowns made entirely from recycled materials, and other eco-activities across 5 countries

Issue: Mar 2013

The wedding gowns made from recycled material made the Green message a fun and creative one
The wedding gowns made from recycled material made the Green message a fun and creative one

As part of CapitaMalls Asia’s Green impetus, CapitaMalls in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Japan and India have been holding green activities to educate the public about environmental causes, and excite them to be involved in the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle.

"Stakeholder engagement is a key part of CapitaMalls Asia’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda to grow in a responsible and sustainable manner.

“Through such engagement efforts, we hope to convey our commitment towards sustainable development and encourage our stakeholders to join us on our green journey. Together with our tenants, shoppers, investors, statutory bodies, and vendors, we hope to do our part to protect the environment for our future generations," said Mr Chow Chee Khang, Head of Engineering Design & Technical Services and Chairman of Green Committee, CapitaMalls Asia (CMA).

Dressing Up for the Earth in China

Tertiary students parading in wedding gowns made of recycled materials as part of the Green Fashion Show held at CapitaMall Yuhuating in China
Tertiary students parading in wedding gowns made of recycled materials as part of the Green Fashion Show held at CapitaMall Yuhuating in China

Giving a creative spin to the Green theme, CapitaMall Yuhuating in Changsha, China partnered Hunan Women's Vocational University, Changsha Environmental Protection Vocational College, Ding Ding Star Education, and Miracle Gym Centre to organise the “Loving the Earth, Green Creativity” competition. As part of the event, participants put up a Green Fashion Show showcasing original designs, including wedding gowns, which were made with recycled materials. The event drew a crowd of about 500.

“We were all very excited about the activity. We made a nice wedding dress using recycled paper and fabric. It was so well-designed, we didn’t even use any glue. [Participating in the event] helped us to be more aware of the need to protect the environment,” said one student from Hunan Women's Vocational University.

There was also a Green Creativity Competition which tested contestants on their ability to turn trash into treasures. One of the more outstanding creations was furniture made of old carton boxes, a design which drew inspiration from Chinese culture and tradition. It was a hit with the older crowd.

“As citizens of the earth, taking care of the land is our responsibility. These activities will help educate people that the need to protect the earth is everyone’s job,” said Zhao Shengwei, a student from Changsha Environmental Protection Vocational College.

Artwork by children from a Chinese kindergarten – a house, Christmas tree and windmill – made of recycled material, showing that it is never too early to get involved with the environment
Artwork by children from a Chinese kindergarten – a house, Christmas tree and windmill – made of recycled material, showing that it is never too early to get involved with the environment

At the same event, kindergarten children made artwork and performed a dance based on the environmental theme. Along the way, they learnt about carbon emissions and their impact on the environment, and helped to inspire others to follow in their example.

“These activities helped to build an awareness of the environmental cause in every child and instill in them a love for Mother Earth. We are grateful to CapitaMalls Asia for organising such meaningful activities and hope for more of such opportunities to take part in activities which help to spread the green message to more people,” said a teacher from Ding Ding Star Education.

Over in Dalian, CapitaMall Peace Plaza and Dalian Youth Volunteers turned a segment of the mall into a walking exhibit about the importance of trees and the need to protect virgin forests, all told from a tree’s point of view.

CapitaMall Peace Plaza and Dalian Youth Volunteers created a replica of a tree using 40,000 recycled chopsticks, as part of an exhibit to educate people about the importance of trees and the need to protect virgin forests
CapitaMall Peace Plaza and Dalian Youth Volunteers created a replica of a tree using 40,000 recycled chopsticks, as part of an exhibit to educate people about the importance of trees and the need to protect virgin forests

Using 40,000 recycled chopsticks collected from 10 restaurants, about 50 volunteers spent three days and nights cleaning the chopsticks and creating different three-dimensional pieces to illustrate the tree’s story. The most stunning of these creations was a replica of a tree built with chopsticks. Standing at four metres tall and more than three metres wide, it was made from 7,000 pairs of used chopsticks.

Green Marketing in Japan

A flea market at Chitose Mall which sold only recycled and pre-owned items, to encourage recycling
A flea market at Chitose Mall which sold only recycled and pre-owned items, to encourage recycling

In Chitose, Japan, Chitose Mall, braved the rain to organise a flea market selling recycled and pre-owned items. People from all walks of life, some from as far as 50 kilometres away, came to set up stalls, all for the good cause of recycling and reusing old items.

The mall also initiated Fibre Recycling, a programme that encouraged the collection of unwanted cloths to be recycled into industrial cloth. In total, about 3,400 kilogrammes of clothwere collected.

Singapore shoppers getting into the swing of things as they brought their empty drinks bottles to the malls to be recycled
Singapore shoppers getting into the swing of things as they brought their empty drinks bottles to the malls to be recycled

For nine months in 2012, six CapitaMalls in Singapore – Bugis Junction, Bugis+, Funan DigitaLife Mall, JCube, Junction 8 and The Star Vista – took turns to collaborate with Coca-Cola Singapore on a joint campaign called “A Recycle Happiness Activation”, which aimed to make recycling a part of Singaporeans’ lifestyles.

Shoppers were encouraged to bring their empty beverage bottles for recycling. For every 10 bottles returned, they were entitled to a Coca-Cola premium made from recyclable material. More than 30,000 bottles were collected, which were sent for recycling.

Driving Home the 3R Message in Malaysia

Recycling made easy at East Coast Mall in Malaysia, which set up bins for shoppers to drop off their recyclable items
Recycling made easy at East Coast Mall in Malaysia, which set up bins for shoppers to drop off their recyclable items

In Kuantan, Malaysia, East Coast Mall and the local authority, Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal dan Pembersihan Awam (PPSPPA) Negeri Pahang, joined hands to organise the “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Drive-Through” campaign. On every Wednesday for over a month from 7 March till 4 April 2012, bins were set up in the mall for the community to bring in items they could recycle. In the end, about 224 kilogrammes of recyclable waste were collected, an encouraging sign that the community was coming on board the green movement.

Starting the Green Campaign from Young in India

Children from Daffodils Kindergarten School in India having fun as they educate shoppers about the importance of protecting the environment
Children from Daffodils Kindergarten School in India having fun as they educate shoppers about the importance of protecting the environment

In Bangalore, India, Forum Value Mall worked with Daffodils Kindergarten School to organise the “Saving Our Planet & Care for Environment” learning experience. Through entertainment and games, the children sought to educate the public about caring for the environment.

About 50 children took part in the event, carrying cards with the Green message and creating educational posters for display. They also gave about 50 plant saplings to shoppers and mall staff to further spread the green message. The ones given to CMA staff were planted within the mall as a permanent reminder of the green cause.

Said Anshu, Head, Daffodil Kindergarten School, “The purpose of this event was to get the children exposed [to the environmental cause], and to make them understand the basics of environment protection. The event also gave the young ones a chance to speak up in public.”

All the events held at CapitaMalls were aimed at involving more people in the Green movement and encouraging them to be more environmentally-conscious. With so much thought and effort put into making the events creative and fun, the green message will surely be easy to recall and abide by for a long time to come.

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